Silvertones coming to The Forge Pavillion!

The Silvertones will be here with us this Saturday, August 15th!

The Silvertones “Silvertone Avenue” Deep South Productions By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © July, 2014

With varied ensembles, the Silvertones have been together for over twenty years now. And as you’d expect, that length of time has taken them down many roads. As a matter of fact, the title of their fifth CD is symbolic of those roads because it’s no different than any of them. Over the years “Silvertone Avenue” has presented many twists and turns and lots of obstacles for the guys. Yet, according to them, one thing never changes – the desire to keep driving down that road. Keep on truckin’ guys. I’m sure the people you’ve passed on those roads are happy you made the drive.

On “Silvertone Avenue”, the Silvertones consist of: Randy Ball on vocals, tambourine, washboard and drums; Leo De La Vega on vocals and electric & acoustic guitars; Rob Donavan on vocals, backup vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, dobro and slide & baritone guitars; and Brian Wicker on vocals, backup vocals and bass. Other riders on this trip include: Chuck Ward on piano, organ and horns; Joanna Ramirez on backup vocals; George Coyne on guitar; Ponty Bone on accordion; Mary Ann Broussard on tambourine; and Jamie Connally on laughs. The CD contains thirteen tracks with all being band originals.

With a first impression carrying the weight it does, opening up with a smoker is always a good idea and it doesn’t get much more smokin’ than this. “Knockin’ On My Baby’s Door” is good old rockin, rollin’, fast dancing music at it’s best. Asked to name this song I may have called it “Speeding Down Silvertone Avenue”. Real good stuff.

Being the discs most serious blues track, you know I’m loving this one. It’s songs like “All Night Corner” that make me love the blues. Randy’s belting out the lyrics sounding as melancholy as one can possibly sound, the rhythm’s tough and tight and the lead guitars are scorching hot. Make this one forty-five minutes and I won’t care that’s it’s the discs only track.

“Dallas, Austin, And Back Again” is a perfect title for this song. With Randy having that locomotive thing going on the drums and Chuck rolling right along on piano, it’s got the perfect beat for a traveling song. With Joanna giving him strong support, Rob’s sounding good vocally, and the guitars are adding an appropriate country feel.

Surprisingly, the title track – “Silvertone Avenue” – is an instrumental. From what I read in the liner notes, and paraphrased in my introduction, I’d have bet it would have been a story about all those roads and obstacles. Regardless, the tracks done quite well. Randy and Brian are in a solid rhythm groove on drums and bass and one of the listed players is killing it on lead guitar.

“Hoedown Jones” is one of the discs two acoustic tracks. This one features Randy on the vocals and I gotta tell you, he’s got this hollerin’ thing down pat. That, and the amazing acoustic guitar pickin’ between Leo and Rob make this one of the discs best. Additionally, the perfect timing between Randy and Mary Ann on the tambourines was admirable…..and that’s coming from someone who is not a big fan of the tambourine.

“Whiskeyhead” is the other very well done acoustic track. Of course there’s a lot more of the acoustic duo’s excellent guitar work with Rob sounding especially good on the dobro. This one features Rob on the vocals as he pretty much tells a tale that many of us are all too familiar with – what happens when we stick our faces in that liquor.

The CD closes with a very cool track called “Silvertone Trail”. It’s virtually a musical autobiography about the band and it’s members. It features all four band members taking turns on the vocals as they sing a story about where one of the other band mates comes from and a bit about that person, as well. Here’s an example…..
“Brian, he’s a beach bum…..with sand between his toes.
He started out in California…..right along the coast.
He holds down the bottom…..on that big old bass.
He tries to keep ’em all in line…..with a smile on his face.”
Then some one else sings a similar story about another band mate. The song has a bit of a country twang and the verses are sung in a style that will make you want to sing along. The idea is so simple yet so masterful. I’m crazy about this song.

Other tracks on “Silvertone Avenue” include: “Sancho”, “Cajun Love”, “Woke Up Dead”, “Out On The Town”, “Good Lord Willing”, and “(I Have) Dreams of You”.

Although it’s been a while, this is the second time I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Silvertones. Back in 2006 I reviewed another of their great CDs titled “Ride In My Cadillac”. Now, having heard “Silvertone Avenue”, I’m hoping to be hearing from them on a more regular basis.

The Silvertones can be reached by going to

When you check them out, please tell them the Blewzzman sent you.

Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro Blues Editor @ 2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient

Motorized Barstool Racing coming to Ben Wheeler

122014 Barstool Auction
Moore’s Store & The Forge Bar & Grill host a Quiet Man Tradition*!!!
Watch Out for the re-ignition of Bar Stool Races to be held on March 21st in Ben Wheeler Texas,
pre-empted by the Adoption Auction Friday, January 21st.

So what is this crazy Motorized Barstool thing anyway? Well, it started in 1978 when a can of bud cost 16 cents at the Quiet Man Bar on Knox Street in Dallas. The original circle of 6 barstool creators consisted of Bill Jenkins, Thomas Spangler, Johnny Gable, John Pullman, Mike Carr, and Keith Blackwell (the official woo hooer). Each man created his own version of a motorized barstool and then they began to race them outside the Quiet Man bar. Soon it grew to the Highland Park Cafeteria parking lot where Mrs Dewey Goodman announced the racers at a polished track. From there they moved to the Dart Bar of Cedar Springs followed by Lukes Outhouse. The tradition continued throughout Dallas, where Mr. Jenkins made the news with his barstool cannon blast that set off the alarm of a nearby liquor store.
The notorious Dallas Farmers Market quickly took up the event in full sponsorship along with Ben E Keith and Budweiser to blast the races city wide. Bill Jenkins’ barstool train debuted (featuring a super charged 350cc Honda) coming in first place. In 1991 The races finally found their end at the Greenville Avenue St Pattys Day Parade. (This is the old school lower Greenville where legends were made.)
Last seen in 1991 the barstools have now resurfaced in Ben wheeler TX. The reincarnated reclaimed racers can be seen on display at the participating shops across the historic town of Ben Wheeler. Races to be held annually during the Over the Rainbow St Patty’s Day Party and at the Feral Hog Festival, which runs the 4th Friday and Saturday of October.
Build your own or adopt!!!

Want to Adopt?
So you want to be a Motorized Adoptee…You must attend the Adoption Auction to be held January 23 @ Moore’s Store! There will be a live auctioneer, foster barstools on display, live music and full bar. To check out potential adoptions, please go to the approved Foster Homes at the certified Ben Wheeler Merchants: Flying Fish, Frilly Pepper, Gum Creek, Secret Garden & Walking Horse. Adoption bids will start at $100.
Rules of adoption set forth by the B.W.B.P.S. (Ben Wheeler Barstool Protective Services)
Barstools must be available for future Ben Wheeler events & annual races, not show signs of abuse, & kept in good working order.  There will be an annual inspection by an authorized B.W.B.P.S. field agent to decide continued placement or removal from the premise.

Wanna make your own Motorized Barstool?
There is a silver lining, if you have the skills and wherewithal, we welcome you to create your own motorized barstool. Just be sure to check out the Ben Wheeler Motorized Barstool Racing Rules and Regulations.
Pick up entry forms & complete rules @ Moore’s Store or The Forge Bar & Grill or print them right here:

Ben Wheeler Motorized Barstool Racing Rules 2015



We have a great week planned, not to mention some really great parties! Come out and see why we are one of the coolest Town’s in Texas!

WED 12/17 Craig Wallace hosting
Open Mic Night 6:30pm
Thurs 12/18 Wesley Pruitt 7pm
Friday 12/19 Travis Bolt 7pm

Ugly Sweater Party FB

  Saturday 12/20 at 7pm
Chase McClanahan Duo
is hosting an
Raid grandma’s closet, tell Aunt Betty  you’re cold     or just make your own!!! 


We have a limited amount of seating and an amazing night planned!


CALL to make your reservations for New Years Eve!

Charlie Robison at the Forge Pavillion/ Grist Mill

Charlie Robison will be our musical guest at the Forge Grist Mill (formerly the Pavillion) for a night of down home fun.

charlie robison

Charlie Robison at the Forge, Ben Wheeler, TX

Throughout his career, Charlie Robison has forged his own path within the country music world as well as the Lone Star music scene and popular music at large. He grew up in the small scenic town of Bandera in the Texas Hill country — known as “The Cowboy Capital of the World” — where his family has ranched the land for eight generations. Music wasn’t just a staple around the Robison household; from even before he could walk, Charlie would spend Saturday nights with his parents at The Cabaret, the local C&W dancehall in downtown Bandera. But the fare playing in the family home ran the gamut from rock’n’roll to singer-songwriters and much more. So it should come as no surprise that Charlie, his brother Bruce and sister Robyn Ludwyck all enjoy respected and critically acclaimed music careers as singers, songwriters and recording and performing artists.

Charlie is best known for his song “In my Hometown” and has just released a new album “Beautiful Day.”

The Hog Fest will be going on both Friday, Oct 24th and Saturday,Oct 25th. It will end with a bang on Saturday night as Wesley Pruitt opens with his amazing guitar skills and electric smile at 8:00 pm and then Charlie will light up the stage at 10:00. You don’t want to miss this HUGE hometown party, in the coolest town in East Texas!

For tickets: ($15 advance @ or $20 Door)


Burning Ben… a tribute to Burning Man


Come on out and play as we burn the old to make way for the new!

We will have a large bonfire (weather permitting) and great music!

Drum circles welcome! Only a $10 cover to hear some really amazing music and have a great time!


An interview with Bridgette Tatum

Bridgette Tatum - Writing She's Country.mp4
Bridgette Tatum – Writing She’s Country.mp4
An Interview with Bridgette Tatum

Sometimes I just wonder how I get to be so lucky to do the things I do. Just a while back I got to interview the most down to earth singer-songwriter, Bridgette Tatum. She had graced us with her musical chops a while back when the lovely Heather Little (also an AH-mazing singer-songwriter) brought her down to our neck of the woods. Her vocals and her charisma blew us out of our seats. She sang mostly her own originals all night long, long after most pack up their guitars. It was a rip-roaring good time and now we are lucky enough to have her  for TWO nights in a row this August. If you happen to see her once, you will definitely be back for more!
So Bridgett, where are you originally from?

B- I’m originally from Florence, South Carolina. I grew up on a farm that had several generations of tobacco Farmers.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
B- Exactly what I’m doing now, being a singer and songwriter. I was singing since I was 6 and then when I went to Texas, met my first cowboy, rode my first horse and heard “If Tomorrow Never Comes” by Garth Brooks I knew for sure that one day I’d be moving to Nashville to sing and write music.
Who is the most influential musician to you and your music? 
B- Garth Brooks. He talked to everyone and got the attention of everyone, even those were outside of the usual country music audience. He tied their humanity together and brought music to it.
How much of the music you perform is your own stuff? 
B– When I’m doing my own shows I play all my own music. Sometimes I’ll throw in a few requests.
What you best known for?
B- I wrote the song “She’s Country” for Jason Aldeen and also I wrote “Loud” that Big and Rich” covered for the 2010 ACC Football Season.
What is something people don’t know about you?
B- I am obsessed with make-up and skin products. Don’t go by a make-up counter with me or we will be there for hours! When I was 18 I went to an Estee Lauder counter and asked for Advance Anti-age serum. The lady looked at me like I was crazy, telling me I was too you to start anti-aging! I still use it and swear by it!
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
B- Still playing, doing a tour, and settling into a couple of gigs. Hoping to get a few more acts produced. I’d really like to sit down and write with some of the legendary writers like KT Oslin, who was famous for “Hey Bobby” among many others. I’d love write with Garth Brooks. Heather Little doesn’t believe me, but she was someone I really hoped to get a chance to write with. I was fortunate enough to have had that great opportunity. She’s pretty amazing.
So what are you working on right now?
B- I’m working on the release of “Looking for a Cowgirl.” It will be out soon
Thank you so much Bridgette, it was such a great honor to talk with you and I can’t wait to see you come back down to Ben Wheeler.
B- Thank You. I really love that town. I can’t wait to get back down there and tear it up like I did last time with Heather!
Bridgette with be coming in from Nashville
for two nights only at The Forge
Fri, August 22 & Sat, August 23rd

Bike Wash, Sock Hop and Kid Icarus all in one day!

If you want something incredibly fun to do check out this Saturday’s activities in Ben Wheeler (Sept 6th). You will not be disappointed! We have a bike wash with some lovely ladies, live band and plenty of ice cream in the parking lot to Scoots N’ Scoops Ice Cream Parlor from 11-4. Then the incredibly talented Craig Wallace will be playing from 3-5 inside the Forge. That evening Kid Icarus will be ripping it up with every song in their playbook (which is quite awesome!) from 7 to 10 pm. At the same time in the back we will be hosting a Jump and Jivin’ good time at our first ever Sock Hop!  The cost is $10 and we will have the infamous Hoss Huggins there to put his Rock-a-billy guitar to work!